22-May-06 Palm Bay, Florida.

Why we don't fill our own tanks!

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Ok, here's how I heard the story:

The person involved here, let's just call him "David" was filling dive tanks in the driveway in Palm Bay, Florida. David was renting the garage from either the owner of the house or the people that lived in the house - he was living in the garage. Guess that's why we see a bed in one of the pictures. He had a tank of Oxygen under the bed and somehow, while he was filling the tanks, the O2 bottle or hose caught fire . He could not get to the O2 bottle to turn it off before the garage and house caught fire.

Me thinks this guy is a candidate for this years DARWIN AWARDS!

David is about 45 years old, has 50 or so dives under his belt, is NOT NITROX Certified and is some kind of a building inspector for a living! There are stories of David boosting steel tanks to 4500 lbs of PURE OXYGEN because he could not legally get his tanks refilled at a normal dive shop. He's probably also not certified to have or purchase Pure Medical Grade Oxygen!

There's more stories at the end of the pictures and they are taken [ with permission ] from a friends personal relationship with David!

More Comments from a knowledgable person

No, he didn't, it wasn't an explosion , it was a 02 fire , that started by the tank that supplied the 02, which was in the garage . The tanks he was filling was outside.
One mistake was , he had the tank that supplied the 02 in the garage, and when the fire started , he couldn't get to the tank, to shut it down to stop the 02 fire.

I don't want to speculate, as I only talked with him yesturday, ( Monday) when i found out, I didn't wan't to pry to much into what had happend.

I'm sure the local Fire Marshall's will look into it, who are the professional's, and come out with a report.

Helping A Friend, A Ccr Diver, Do's And Dont's

After diving with a good friend, for the past year, both getting certified on SCR re-breather's in the past 6 month's, I found myself caught in a web, of bad decision making i think, and a accident waiting to happen . It is hard to go over ALL of the experience's, but i will list a few, to help me understand if it's just me being over cautious, or making the right decision to continue diving in a safe way.

Without going much into my dive buddies history , he has about 50 dives, been to 100' a hand full of time's., and is comfortable underwater, and has the CCR theory down. But I think is " Rolling the Dice " at this point.

For myself, everyone know's here ,, I sold my re-breather to another good friend, and went back to what i feel comfortable with, diving double's for now.

It started 6 month's ago [ mid 2005 ] , taking a SCR course only to learn little about re-breather's, dove the Dolphin, got certified, and converted it right over to CCR. He's been diving it now for about 4 month's and has probably 20-25 dives on it converted.

It is a Dolphin, converted to CCR. He is using one sensor, a oxy gage, which had a 2-3 year old sensor in it, but well wait later for that one. It has the Kiss Style manual valve on it, and your other basic mods to converting it over to CCR.

1. : As of today, 6 month's after the Conversion to CCR, just last month the one sensor he was using, went bad, only to find out, he bought the Oxy-gage off Ebay, and knew the sensor was a few year's old, but continued to use it , until it went bad, then he used a back up sensor. It is in a P connector , in the In-hale bag, that is the only form of monitoring his PPo2 . As of today, i requested a min of two, to continue diving with me, also one that can monitor his loop gas as it change's with his profile.

2. : Using a Nitrox computer with no monitoring of the loop mix. He set's his Nitrox computer for the gas closest to the MOD for the dive. So say a 90' dive with a mix of 32% Nitrox , would be used in OC, he set's his computer for that, then follows it diving CCR. As of today, I requested a VR3 with a P connector that can monitor the loop mix, reason why, last week he did a dive for 52 min total dive time, to 90' , not sure if he bent his computer, not following any pre-dive plan, and got onto his Jet-Ski feeling really tired . I also suggested a set of $12 CCR table's, I even sent him the link.

3. : He bought a Jet-Ski, to dive off by him self , and is diving off the coast of FL, 5 mile's out + , off a Jet-ski, with no dive buddy, on a CCR unit, that he doesn't even have 25 dives on. Most charter boat's down here will not let a CCR dolphin on their boat, cause of insurance reason's we found out. You have to be certified for that application only, to which one you are diving. So to get around that, he dives off the Jet-Ski now. He has offered for me to join, I have a 25' cabin cruiser, and will not dive alone, or leave the boat in anything over 30' of water, with-out leaving diver's on the boat. I have done it once or twice, but i don't plan to dive that way ALL the time.

4.: He wants to take the converted Dolphin past rec limit's , say 200' + , I know some people do this , with this unit, but as of today, I told him I will not be doing that dive plan with him. He feels that he dove the unit to 130' , what's the difference of a extra 70' ? I feel he should first get much more experienced, then buy a unit that is designed for that application. I said tonight to him, I don't want to be a Guinea pig wondering if the unit will work at 200'+ , or will he !!

5. : He is a "self study" . He now wants to add Heliox into his re-breather , so his Nitrogen build-up is none, or little , for more "Safety" How would he monitor his loop mix then ? VR3 ? He doesn't want to get training for that gas, so to not mess with the hassle of the LDS, he mixes his own right now, and would be mixing his own Heliox, which really scares me.

6. : He also fills a PST steel 100 CF tank to 4500 PSI of Pure O2, then brings it on my boat, and as he dives his 13 CF , he then top's off using the Steel tank with whip. I was told pure 02 is very dangerous at that pressure, is that true? I seen picture's of boat's having a O2 explosion, and I don't want it to be me!

7. : If planning to go past rec limit's, I plan on taking advanced Nitrox-Extended range, but no agency will let him take the class on a CCR Dolphin. So he want's to skip all that training . What do you recommend for diving past rec limit's both OC and CCR ?

There are many more detail's I could go into, and many more question's I have. After diving with my friend for the past year. I don't want to end our friendship over this, as I enjoy his company, he is a friend, we also play paint ball with the families, goto Bbq's , and so on. But I am concerned for his safety. For now I think the line has crossed for myself, and at this point I feel like I'm playing Russian roulette, is the way another friend had put it.

I don't want to continue diving, stressing out, wondering every time I turn around, is he OK, did he pass out, is the 1 sensor working, etc, etc, etc

It's 4 am, after loosing sleep all night over this, I hopefully can save my friend, before he either gets himself killed, or the both of us .

Ps, Thank god for spell check !

All I can say, We have been trying to help this friend of our's out for quit some time, about getting into things over his head.
He did not take any blending courses
He was self taught in alot of his diving
Had very little dives, approx 50-60 if I had to guess
Yes, He was " Boosting " the 02 , for fills for his converted CCR rebreather

Last statment he made yesturday when I talked with him on the cell phone, was " He was going to give up diving "

A lesson to be learned here, and hopfully it will save somone's life out there, that isn't qualfied for filling pure 02.

I agree with the previous post, If your qualfied, and have taking the proper blending courses, and know what you are doing, it is safe, but I honestley belive here, this person " Thought " he knew what he was doing , read alittle about it, got away with it for the past 6 month's, and it was just a matter of time.

Can't say I, or " We " didn't try to warn him, as you can see by my post back in NOV

This excerpt was copied here with permission from the author.

Last Updated: 25-May-2006, 28-Dec-2006

Continued upkeep of this page was donated by

T & G WoodCraft
Importers of Fine Handcrafted Philippine Wood Products
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